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Genet Mol Biol. 2012 Jun;35(1 (suppl)):222-32. doi: 10.1590/S1415-47572012000200004.

Expression analysis in response to drought stress in soybean: Shedding light on the regulation of metabolic pathway genes.

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Laboratório de Genética Molecular Vegetal, Departamento de Genética, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.


Metabolomics analysis of wild type Arabidopsis thaliana plants, under control and drought stress conditions revealed several metabolic pathways that are induced under water deficit. The metabolic response to drought stress is also associated with ABA dependent and independent pathways, allowing a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms in this model plant. Through combining an in silico approach and gene expression analysis by quantitative real-time PCR, the present work aims at identifying genes of soybean metabolic pathways potentially associated with water deficit. Digital expression patterns of Arabidopsis genes, which were selected based on the basis of literature reports, were evaluated under drought stress condition by Genevestigator. Genes that showed strong induction under drought stress were selected and used as bait to identify orthologs in the soybean genome. This allowed us to select 354 genes of putative soybean orthologs of 79 Arabidopsis genes belonging to 38 distinct metabolic pathways. The expression pattern of the selected genes was verified in the subtractive libraries available in the GENOSOJA project. Subsequently, 13 genes from different metabolic pathways were selected for validation by qPCR experiments. The expression of six genes was validated in plants undergoing drought stress in both pot-based and hydroponic cultivation systems. The results suggest that the metabolic response to drought stress is conserved in Arabidopsis and soybean plants.


Glycine max; bioinformatics; drought resistance; metabolic pathway; qPCR

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